Since the early stages of Prof. DeSimone’s career as a professor at UNC and NC State, he has consistently stressed the importance of diversity in team problem-solving, emphasizing the role of diversity in the process of innovation. This was the subject of his September 14th speech at Duke University, as highlighted by The Chronicle, Duke University’s student newspaper.
Congratulations to Dr. Chintan Kapadia, who has been selected to receive an award for scientific engagement by the Gordon Research Conferences (GRC)! The award, for ‘most engaged person’ at the Drug Carriers in Medicine & Biology GRC in Waterville Valley, NH, recognizes Dr. Kapadia’s enthusiasm, engagement, and ability to generate highly stimulating discussions during the conference. For his efforts, he will receive a cash prize and copy of “Handbook of Immunological Properties of Engineered Nanomaterials” signed by renowned scientist, Dr. David Grainger.
Currently a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Kapadia has been a member of the DeSimone lab since 2012. He recently graduated with his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences after defending his dissertation, which focused on engineering PRINT nanoparticle-based subunit vaccines to induce an antitumor immune response.
A new article published by the National Science & Technology Medals Foundation highlights the DeSimone lab’s research in the area of nanomedicine. Dr. DeSimone, a recent recipient of the National Medal of Technology & Innovation, is quoted in the article, which focuses broadly on how nanotechnology is revolutionizing the field of medicine.
Here in the lab, researchers are focused on using the Particle Replication in Nonwetting Templates (PRINT) technology to engineer nanoparticles for applications in oncology and vaccine design. Invented in the DeSimone lab, PRINT enables the fabrication of uniform nanoparticles with precise and independent control over attributes such as shape, size, composition, modulus, and surface chemistry.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Absorb Bioresorbable Vascular System (BVS) for the treatment of coronary artery disease. It is the first and only fully dissolving, drug-eluting cardiac stent. In 2002, Dr. DeSimone made key contributions in developing materials for the stent, leading him to co-found Bioabsorbable Vascular Solutions (also known as BioStent) in partnership with Duke cardiologist, Richard Stack. Guidant acquired Bioabsorbable Vascular Solutions in 2003, and when Boston Scientific acquired Guidant, the stent franchise was sold to Abbott, which now markets the technology.
The dissolvable stent supports a patient’s clogged artery with the same strength as a traditional metal stent, but then uniquely dissolves completely over time after blood flow has been restored to the heart and the vessel is able to stay open on its own. This promotes healing by enabling a vessel to regain its natural flexibility without being inhibited by a permanent metal device.
The new device advanced rapidly through clinical trials worldwide, is now available in over 100 countries, and has been used in over 150,000 patients.
On Thursday, May 19th, Prof. DeSimone was presented with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony. The Medal recognizes DeSimone’s “pioneering innovations in material science that led to the development of technologies in diverse fields from manufacturing to medicine; and for innovative and inclusive leadership in higher education and entrepreneurship”. Created by statute in 1980, The National Medal of Technology and Innovation recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the Nation’s technological workforce. Congratulations, Prof. DeSimone!
Watch the full White House ceremony here: